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OceanaGold cut jobs, cut Macraes mine life

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OceanaGold has announced it will cut more than 100 jobs at its Macraes gold mine in New Zealand.

The company explained that follow a prolonged and sustained drop in the gold price it has been forced to re-optmise the mine's plan.

The new mine plan includes a reduction in the total material movement schedule in the open pit resulting in lower equipment usage and a reduction in operating and support staff requirements over the next two years," OceanaGold said in a company statement.

This reduction will see 106 job cuts at the gold operation, leaving only 47 staff at the open cut mine, according to the NZ Herald.

The new mine plan will see its Frasers 6 open put cutback redesigned, with the open cut mine's life scheduled until the end of 2017 and its underground operations set to run until mid next year.

The new life of mine plan has resulted in a reduction in the gold production over the remaining life of the Macraes assets. Amongst other factors this change in mine plan will be taken into account in the impairment review now being carried out for the end of year financial results, OceanaGold said.

Mick Wilkes, OceanaGold's MD, stated that the Macraes Goldfield has been operating continuously for over 23 years producing over 3.8 million ounces of gold".

However "the continuing lower gold price has necessitated the need to make changes to our business to ensure a sustainable operation at Macraes. Unfortunately these changes will also have an impact on some of our workforce and contractors, who I wish to thank and acknowledge for their contribution to OceanaGold".

While it is reducing the size of operations in New Zealand, the miner has recorded its first full year of production at its Didipio gold mine in the Philippines.

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